James D. Gow
James D. Gow was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1868, son of John and Sarah (Robertson) Gow, who were both natives of Perthshire, Scotland, moved to Lincolnshire, and from there emigrated to this country in 1869, settling at Waterloo, New York.
Our subject received his education in the public schools of Lockport and Rochester, and while in Lockport was favorably mentioned for a commission at West Point, but declined the honor, and at the age of seventeen came to Buffalo and started to work at steam fitting for Mr. Summerhays, and afterward found employment with the John T. Noye Manufacturing Company, remaining with them until he was twenty-one. He thus followed the footsteps of his father, who has been a machinist all his life, being at present employed at Lockport, N.Y. During the five years of his service with the John T. Noye Manufacturing Company he became thoroughly proficient in his chosen vocation. He left there in the year 1890 to commence steamboating, the first berth he filled being that of oiler for the season on the Northern Queen. In 1891 he was transferred to the North Wind, on which he shipped for that season in the same capacity. The season of 1892 he was advanced to the position of second engineer of the same boat, the North Wind, and in 1893 he was transferred to his maiden ship, the Northern Queen, of which he was second for the season. The following one, 1894, he was first assistant of the Northwest, at that time the Queen of the Lakes, and in 1895 on her sister ship, the North Land, in the same capacity. The season of 1896 found him with the Union Steamship Company as first assistant of the Owego. Although holding an engineer's license, he became discouraged at the slow advancement, and decided to take a position ashore, and accordingly became engineer of the Ellicott Square Building, which position he held at the time of his death, August 16, 1897. His death was caused by an accident when in the discharge of his duties. His pleasant manner won him many friends, while his courage brought him the respect of his employers and associates alike. He was a member of Local Harbor No. 1, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.